– By Ben Greenfield MS, CSCS
Ben Greenfield is one of the top fitness, triathlon, nutrition and metabolism experts in the nation. An athlete and trainer, Ben was named the “Personal Trainer of the Year” by the NSCA.
There occasionally comes a time in my hectic lifestyle of endurance sports coaching, training and racing where I stumble upon something that truly alters my performance and recovery in a significantly positive way. But for each of these instances, there are a thousand examples of products that just don’t seem to work, and waste time and money for my athletes and myself.
So when Mr. Stout from Mt. Capra called me on the phone and asked me to try their new “sports recovery” product. I was naturally skeptical, since the market is saturated with literally hundreds of recovery compounds. What arrived in the mail the next day was a canister of something called “Solar Synergy™”. When I opened the lid, the container revealed a dark golden powder that smelled like a mix of sweet tropical aromas and salty minerals. I was instructed to take about 1 tablespoon per day, mixed into a glass of water or smoothie – preferably after a workout.
My experience with recovery powders and drinks up to this point had taught me that all sports recovery products currently on the market are either 1) electrolyte drinks, such as the popular Gatorade and it’s various competitors; 2) protein drinks, such as the various protein powders you see lining the shelves of a grocery store and 3) anti-oxidant beverages, typically comprised of various densely concentrated blends of fruits and vegetable compounds.
Now, here was my primary beef with the three choices listed above: A) the first two are calorie dense, meaning that if an athlete were trying to maintain weight or lose fat for a competition, they couldn’t sit down with a big glass and consume along with a post-workout meal without risking mass gain; B) the second two don’t replace any of the extremely valuable salts and electrolytes that an athlete loses from perspiration and sweat during competition.
Upon inspection of the ingredients, I realized that the Solar Synergy™ from Mt. Capra was highly unique. Not only did it contain the very same high-quality goat-milk based minerals that are the defining characteristic of Mt. Capra’s nutritional products. But it also boasted a blend of some of the most incredibly powerful recovery aids that I had only before seen in expensive isolated forms, but never before seen gathered together in one single powdered compound. These ingredients include:
Grape Seed Extract – (Via VitaGrape™) Perhaps you’ve heard of resveratrol, the potent anti-aging compound found in red wine. What most people don’t know is that it can be just as high in grapes, which are also loaded with potent phytonutrients that support healthy brain function, cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory action, cell function and immune response.
Goji berry – This berry has one of the highest antioxidant ratings of any fruit or berry, many times more iron than spinach, more amino acids than bee pollen, more beta carotene than oranges, cancer-fighting selenium and germanium, and even a unique polysaccharide found in no other food source that is known for its potential to increase human growth hormone production.
Acai berry – Similar to the goji berry, the acai berry is known as a “superfood”, and is another rich source of the compounds called anthocyanins, which are the same compounds that give red wine its health benefits (with none of the health risks associated with alcohol). The acai berry is also a rich source of protein and dietary fiber, and uniquely high levels of both omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, which have a protective effect on the heart and cardiovascular system.
Sea Buckthorn – Sea buckthorn is yet another powerful antioxidant, scavenging the damage produced by exercise with its very high vitamin C, carotenoid, and phenolic content. As a result of the powerful antioxidant levels, its ability to protect against aging of the skin and the effects of environmental pollution have also been noted. It’s berries contain more than 100 different kinds of nutrients and bio-active substances, including vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids.
Sensoril® – Sensoril is an extract of Ashwagandha, a plant grown in India that is revered for its ability to balance, energize, rejuvenate, and revitalize. Sensoril’s energizing and restorative characteristics result from unique bioactive compounds that are extracted from specially grown Ashwagandha roots and leaves. Not only can it assist with physical energy, but it also helps reduce stress-induced appetite cravings and weight gain, inhibits cellular oxidative stress and helps slow the effects of aging by inhibiting free radical damage.
Yacón – Another antioxidant “superfood”, the Yacón is a perennial plant grown in the Andes of Perú for its crisp, sweet-tasting tubers. The texture and flavor have been described as a cross between a fresh apple and watermelon which is why it is sometimes referred to as the apple of the earth. This is yet another incredibly unique component of Solar Synergy™ that you’ll never find blended with the other compounds in this list.
Aronia Berry – Also known as chokeberries, the rich antioxidant content of this fruit is highly beneficial as a dietary preventative for reducing the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress and heavy exercise. The dense anthocyanins in the Aronia Berry may protect against colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, ulcers, eye and liver failure. It also contains high levels of quercitin, the same compound that Lance Armstrong consumes in his energy drinks.
I dare you to find any other blend as potent as this. There is nothing like it in the sports recovery drink market or popular health juice industry. You can literally feel the damage of exercise being reversed as you sip this post-workout blend.
And what about the electrolytes in Solar Synergy™? Not only is sodium crucial to counteract the acid build-up that occurs during exercise, but also to maintain the solubility of calcium so that an athlete’s joints can withstand daily pounding. But compared to the other important electrolytes, sodium is often overemphasized in popular electrolyte blends. This is why the Solar Synergy™ has sufficient sodium for any serious athlete’s needs, but just half the sodium of a drink like Gatorade. On the other hand, consider potassium, another equally important electrolyte that affects an enormous range of physiological activities, including muscle integrity, protein metabolism, kidney function, hydration, acid balance, heart rhythm, and calcium deposition. Solar Synergy™ contains 315mg of potassium, compared to Gatorade’s 36.6mg! And magnesium, one of the body’s most important salts, and one which is deficient in over 75% of the athletic population, is present at 11mg per serving in Solar Synergy™, compared to 0mg in Gatorade!
It has been nearly 3 months now since I’ve been using Solar Synergy™ on a daily basis, putting a half scoop of the tasty, low-calorie powder into a tall, refreshing glass of water and consuming it along with my post-workout meal. Not only do I feel an instant boost in energy levels and mental clarity following my triathlon training routines, but I also find myself earnestly missing my “magic elixir” if I ever skip a day of Solar Synergy™ dosing. It has quickly risen in the ranks to join massage, baths, stretching, and spa as one of my favorite post-workout recovery protocols – and in my work as a coach, sports nutritionist and athlete, I have never come across any recovery blend this potent, especially one that you can instantly feel. Try Solar Synergy™, and I guarantee you’ll experience the same sensation.
-Ben Greenfield MS, CSCS